Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is a happy day...

Dear America,

I am so proud of you. You have made history.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

In October, I...

Okay, so I got totally sucked in by the election. That's right, I left behind VeganBlogLand for PoliticalBlogLand, and you know what? I liked it. Sort of. Actually I think I may be sort of losing my mind, and Phil's kind of weirded out by my new political obsession. But no matter. I did some fun things in the last month, like running my first 5K (see new profile picture: I'm the blonde, my sister is the brunette), visiting the fam in Maryland, and also going to a Halloween dance party, all of which I took pictures of (I mention these things because I don't usually take pictures of anything, but I happened to bring Phil's camera to these events). I also cooked, obviously.

Speaking of which, I've been making some really damn good bread.

In my latest batch, which was my best, I just used water instead of soymilk (finances are tight) and I kneaded in some red bulgar, millet and cleaned wheat for texture. I also discovered that bread flour does matter! Really.

Also, I harvested my tomatoes.

We thought we'd be making fried green tomatoes, but every single one ripened in that little green bowl on our sunlight-deprived counter top. I would call my first inexperienced experience growing tomatoes successful, despite my hangups. I learned several lessons and ate several tomatoes.

I also thought my mom's basil plant was cool, so here's a picture of that.

I probably won't post again until after the election and my celebrational/mourning period (it could go either way!) So, see you in a bit, folks.

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Return of Muffins

Before summer, I made a batch of muffins at least once a week so that Phil and I always had something to munch on in the morning, but once the heat hit I avoided the oven like the plague (especially if preheating was involved). Well, upon purchasing a secret ingredient that I promised Phil I would make muffins with, I decided yesterday that I might as well start.

What is the secret ingredient, you ask?

Many of you no doubt recognize this, expecially if you read VeganYumYum, since she made "cupcake pies" with these in September (I discovered this after Googling them today to check some last minute facts). Phil and I, however, did not know what they were. We saw them at a small farmers market, and upon asking what they were, we were given a little sample. Hmm. Weird, fruity, tomato-ey, sweet, savory, acidic-- all these things in one little grape-sized berry enveloped in a papery husk.

I didn't think they were quite sweet enough to replace just any fruit, but after looking through my recipe books for a basic muffin recipe, I thought they might do well in a slightly modified version of VWaV's Ginger Raisin Muffins... and I think I was right.

Personally, I think I modified this enough for it to be a different recipe and to share it, so I will. And on the off-chance that someone (like Isa, though she'd ever read this blog) is offended, please alert me promptly and I will remove it. Additionally, if you don't own VWaV, you probably already know that everyone else does and loves it, so you should, too.

Ginger Almond Groundcherry Muffins (i.e. Physalis)
Makes 12 standard-sized muffins


  • 1 1/2 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 c. + 1 Tbsp. sugar
  • 2 tsp. ground ginger*
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. oat flour**
  • 1 c. rice milk
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/3 c. canola oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/2 c. rinsed groundcherries
  • 1/4 c. raw almond slivers, plus more for garnish
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F and oil your muffin tin or line with papers.

Sift together flour, baking powder and soda, sugar, ginger, cinnamon, salt and the oat flour. Make a well and add the liquid ingredients. Mix until combined, but be careful to not overmix. Fold in the groundcherries and almonds.

Distribute evenly throughout the muffin cups, garnish with almonds, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean!

* Dry, ground ginger. I noticed someone else made this recipe and used fresh ginger, probably microplaned. If you choose to do that, increase the amount accordingly... not sure what the equivilant would be, though.
** Throw some rolled oats in a food processor or coffee grinder and go crazy.

I think these would also be good in an orange or lemon muffin, too...

I'll leave you with what was an awesome lunch:

Hot veggie and tofu hoagie, kale chips and quinoa with corn and peas.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Food, food, everywhere...

I guess I haven't been doing a very good job of keeping up with Vegan MoFo, and frankly, I probably won't get better. But, we have been cooking a little bit more lately. Unfortunately I forgot to get a picture of Phil's latest batch of chili, but believe here are some other things I've been making:

Mac 'n Cheese from Vegan Vittles, with peas and sauteed shrooms. I've been in a mac 'n' cheese mood lately-- this was the second time in a week that I made this! This time I baked it, as called for, and found it to be a little dry. Next time I will either use less pasta or make more sauce.

We got a surprise (but very welcome) visit from Phil's brother, Sean, late Friday night. That's Phil with the guitar and Sean with the coffee on Saturday morning.

In honor of his brothers appearance, Phil made his famous brunch for us: breakfast taters and a tempeh scramble with toast. Phil's the only person I know that make a tempeh scramble instead of tofu. He simmers the slab of tempeh in broth and spices beforehand, to keep it moist and flavorful. Anyone else ever try it?

Last but not least was our pre-debate dinner last night. The picture is horrible-- sorry-- but we made a simple stirfry over quinoa with more tempeh and fresh produce from the Tuesday Farmer's Market.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Vegan MoFo 1 & 2!

No, I just couldn't watch everyone else do it and not join in (that's right, I'm one of those). Actually, I had every intention of doing my first entry last night, but it sort of sizzled out after I watched this really mediocre movie called Smart People. Heard of it? It was OK... but it fizzled, and I fizzled, and you know. I went to sleep.

So, as a result, this post is going to be filled with food and pictures. Part of the reason for that is because I think Phil and I spend too much on food, so I've decided to start making as many things from scratch as I can. Mind you, I go through this phase fairly often and it usually fizzles, too! But I'm hoping this will stick for at least a little while. Because I'm broke. At any rate, this decision means that I have a lot of cooking/ baking to do, so I started today after work, and I'm pretty proud of the results.

But first I wanted to share another Phil Meal, made and eaten last night:

Fancy pasta by Maestri Pastai, which is made in Italy and therefore is super expensive. Well, the bag (1.1 lbs.) was $5.50 or so, so I guess that's expensive but not super expensive. Phil made the marinara, and "meat"balls from GimmeLean, ground beef style. If you're interested in making meatballs from this stuff, I suggest heavily seasoning it and maybe adding some bread crumbs, or something that will give some variation to the texture!

And then I made a salad:

Using a dressing on the back of an Eden Soy carton of soy/rice milk. Not bad: walnuts, pepitas, cremini schrooms and dried Turkish apricots over a bed of fresh spinach.

So, what did I do today? Well...

I made granola:
Rolled oats, rolled rye flakes, cashews, almonds, pepitas and dried Turkish apricots, with very little sugar, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and a wet mix of molassas, juice, applesauce and water. Most granola is so sweet, but this is not, and that's great by my book.

... dinner tonight:
Mashed potatoes, frozen chopped spinach sauteed with garlic and olive oil, and the Southern Fried Tofu from Vegan Vittles. This was awwwwesome.

And my biggest achievment today:

Vegan Dad's Farm-Style Whole Wheat Bread. Just as his recipe/blog entry boasts, this loaf is light, soft, and versatile. The dough was really easy to work with, it rose beautifully, and the end product is great (even if my loaves aren't perfect!) I'm looking forward to making this bread often and mastering it (and maybe adding some yummy seeds, too)! I'm freezing one loaf, and eating the other this week.

Happy MoFo, y'all!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Potato Leek and Swiss Chard Soup

My boyfriend loves to cook, but I think the only things he made the entire summer were cold sandwiches and salads. Not that I'm complaining. He makes a mean hoagie, let me tell you. But, now that it's finally cooling off again, it's nice to see him really cooking again; his best meals usually center around an amazing pasta sauce, soup or his world famous chili.

I don't know what he did, but armed with the beautiful local potatoes, leeks and Swiss chard that we picked up from the Headhouse Market yesterday, he made the best soup ever.

Other local produce was used in this salad, which included baby salad greens, pears, onions, walnuts, sprouts, and a yellow heirloom tomato. Oh! And a delicious multigrain baguette from Versailles Baking Co. (who do not have a website that I can find...)

I love you, Phil. Especially when you cook. :)

Friday, September 26, 2008

"Bhajan's Banquet" and walnut pancakes.

Recently I bought a few bags of different dried beans from the bulk section at Essene Market, attempting to motivate myself to brunch out to things other than canned black, pinto and white beans. Looking in the cabinet, I can't remember what exactly I got... some brown ones, maybe black eyed peas? Who knows. But I do remember getting mung beans, so after returning from San Diego to an essentially grocery-less home, I decided I should find a mung bean recipe to whip up for Phil and I.

It took me a while, because most recipes call for sprouts (the generic 'bean sprouts' found in Chinese and Vietnamese food are actually mung bean sprouts, I believe) or mung dahl, which are shelled and split mung beans. Finally, however, I found a recipe: Bhajan's Banquet.

I'm not really sure if this is supposed to be a rice dish or a stew, but I sort of combined two different versions and it ended up being a stew that we ate with pita. The recipes I used were this one and this one. I think the second one would have been the right one, but I had already started the first so I had to go along with some of it.

Bhajan's Banquet (my version)
Serves 4-6

  • 10 c. water
  • 1 c. dry mung beans
  • 3/4 c. brown rice
  • 1/3 c. red wheat berries
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 stalks celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 green pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 c neutral tasting oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. celery seed
  • 1 tsp. mustard powder
  • 2/3 c. soy sauce
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne

Rinse the rice, beans and wheat berries until the water runs clean. Bring to a boil in the water, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes.

Add the chopped vegetables and cook for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a skillet. Add the garlic first, then the other dry spices and cook for 2-5 minutes-- do not burn! Once fragrant, add to the pot of goodness and stir.

Add the soy sauce, black pepper and cayenne. Simmer 10 more minutes then serve. Thin with water if desired.

Note- When reheating, you will probably have to add a considerable amount of water (or broth, if you prefer).

Tuesday I made walnut pancakes-- but had no syrup! They were good, but would be better with syrup. Next time...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Where Am I? & Soltan Banoo

Well, I haven't posted in a while for 2 reasons. The first is that our rechargable batteries are misbehaving: i.e. they've recharged as much as they ever will and now lose their charge almost immediately. So everytime I make something I want to blog about and I reach for the camera, it's dead. And I'm hungry, so I eat anyways.

The second is that I'm now on day 6 of my 15-day vacation, and I didn't bring a digital camera with me. I actually brought my manual Nikon, believe it or not! I plan on getting pictures from the trip online, but so far I don't have any food pictures. Anyway, the last few days have been filled mostly with fresh (like just from the garden) produce in Covelo, CA and grapes right off the vine. I decompressed in Covelo (small valley town up North) and now I'm down in San Diego to continue relaxing.

Yesterday was my 23rd brithday, and oddly enough, it's Phil's brother Sean's birthday, too. We're visiting Phil's immediate family in San Diego right now, so last night their mother, Nancy, treated Phil, Sean and me to a great dinner at this Persian restaurant called Soltan Banoo. It was such a great pick because they serve traditional meat and fish dishes as well as several vegan choices! Plus you can get any of their "specials" and rice dishes made vegan if you ask. The restaurant itself is beautifully decorated with a great front porch outside-eating area, which is where we ate. So, if you are ever in San Diego, I highly recommend you give Soltan Banoo a try-- it was a pleaser for vegans and omnis alike.

I will probably be a pretty spastic blogger for the rest of my vacation, but I'll try to catch up reading blogs when I get back.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Monday, August 25, 2008

Birthdays are fun!

This is the raspberry chocolate blackout cake (or something along those lines) from Vegan With A Vengeance made with blueberry preserves instead of raspberry. The icing is this recipe, dyed with turmeric, cocoa powder, beets and mushed blueberries. I wish I could take the credit, but I did not decorate it! I baked it, made the icing, iced it, mixed the colors, then handed the decorating bag over to my friend Natalie. The picture is of the birthday boy (her man) and pretty much sums him up.

I also bought a non-vegan vanilla cake layer from the Whole Foods bakery (which is where I work) and we iced and decorated that with vegan icing, too.

The vegan one was probably way better. Obviously.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A bit overdue...

I haven't posted in a while because I have nothing to post! Food has been sort of blah, and I'm working mostly nights so I don't get a lot of time to cook-- I just throw something together for lunch with leftovers to take to dinner. Boring!

The picture above is of something I created while in this state (the lunch/dinner state) and although it didn't turn out how I wanted it, I like the idea. Clearly, it's stuffed jumbo shells. Not so clearly, it's inspired by Dreena Burton's pesto stuffed shells-- however, although this looks amazingly and wonderfully delicious, I don't think I could possibly eat that for a normal lunch and not die afterwards. That's the type of food you eat at a party (because food at parties is fat-free and calorie-free by default), but I wanted something quiet. Simple. Easy.

This version has my pesto, tofu and mashed black beans to compensate for my lack of tofu. I will tweak this and use either no beans or white beans if they must be used. It also turned out bland. At any rate, expect a good version of this sometime soon, if I ever get around to using the other half of the box of shells!

The other note-worthy meal I made recently was something I actually managed to cook for Phil and I. I must confess, we've been eating out a lot lately. I've been running a lot in my free time, and he works so much he doesn't have much free time, so we've been lazy as of late. I'm hoping to change that and get back to cooking, especially since money is so tight (we're all feeling it, right?) This was just some marinated tofu (I used one of the marinades from Vegan Vittles) that I baked, and served with a sauce I made by thickening the leftover marinade with cornstarch. The couscous was cooked in vegetable broth and mixed in with sauteed oyster mushrooms, red onions and crispy broccoli. Nothing notable in the salad-- just a salad! We eat a lot of them in this house!

In some final news, check out this ridiculous article in Philadelphia's Citypaper, entitled, Veganomics: Guess whose diet is affected most by high gas prices.

What? Are you living in a cave, Boyce Upholt? Everyone's food comes on trucks, dude, including meat, diary, eggs, etc. The deciding factor is less vegan or omnivore, it's local or imported-from-Mexico.

I'm curious to see anyone elses thoguhts on this article. I didn't think it was necessarily 'talkin trash' about veganism-- it just seems sort of, well, pointless and stupid.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Wow! I love fresh food!

I had a great run this morning. Now it's raining, but pre-rain it was cool and breezy, so I took the opportunity to do my "long" run outside. For my ramblings about my running, see my fitness blog! Otherwise, I will get onto the food.

After my run, I donned my rainboots and raincoat (just in case) and walked over to Philly's best farmers market, which is fortunately only 3 blocks from me in Headhouse Square. I got a pretty awesome haul, though a little expensive at $19-- but the quality is worth it.

My favorite stand is Heirloom Farm, and is where I got the tomatoes, leeks, and that green thing which is a green apple eggplant. The tomatoes were the best deal-- all of those beautiful heirlooms for $5! Also in my findins are chemical-free oyster mushrooms, yellow nectarines, young Swiss chard, and an amazingly tasty baguette. I guess that's actually a lot of really fresh local goodies for $19. Check out how long these leeks are: (!)

I trimmed them and stuck the ends in a bag I keep in my freezer for veg scraps to make broth from.

While we're on the subject of fresh produce, here's a canteloupe Phil and I picked up from a smaller market by us on Tuesday. It was amazing, but part was rotten and it intimidated us out of eating the rest. You never know what you'll get buying local and organic, but it's just part of the fun (cause when it's good, it's so good!)

And dinner that night included local heirloom tomatoes, wax beans and a mixture of oyster and shiitake mushrooms. The green bean recipe is a dish I love from VWAV.

Last but not least, here's the lunch I made today with my market findings:

The nectarine was amazing (my favorite fruit!). I sauteed leeks, Swiss chard and oyster 'shrooms and made a sandwich with them and teriyaki marinated tofu (Fresh Tofu, Inc., a local tofu company. This tofu is amazing and so easy to work with!) The salad is local romaine from yesterdays market (also at Headhouse) and one of those small heirloom toms I got today, with a light olive oil and red wine vinaigrette.

Whew! If you're still here, kudos to you. The moral of the story is that I effin' love local produce. I've been toying with getting a CSA share next year, but I sort of like having more of a selection at Headhouse, so we'll just have to see!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Pecan Sandies

A few days ago I saw a recipe for Pecan Sandies, and ever since then I've wanted to make a vegan version. I don't know if I've ever even had traditional sandies, but I imagine them being buttery and dusty and full of flavor. Mmm. I even started thinking about them while trying to fall asleep last night.

Which left one option: make them today.

I wanted to try using semolina flour, since it's a little more coarse then all-purpose wheat flour, and I thought it might lend some sandiness to the sandies. I used whole wheat bread flour because it's what I had, but I'm putting whole wheat pastry flour in the directions. All-purpose would work, too. Finally, I wanted to cut the oil in half, so I supplemented the butter [Soy Garden margarine, actually] with an equal amount of soy yogurt. I'm curious to try subbing out it all, but I'll have to wait until I get some better soy yogurt (see my feelings on this here).

Pecan Sandies
Makes 2 dozen cookies


  • 1/2 c. unrefined sugar or sweetener of choice
  • 1/4 c. Soy Garden or other non-hydrogenated margarine
  • 1/4 c. plain soy yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp. soy milk
  • 1 egg substitute (I used Ener-G)
  • 1 c. semolina flour
  • 1 c. whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 - 1/2 c. coarsely chopped raw pecans, plus some whole for garnish
  • Optional: Flax seeds, raspberry jam.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Begin by creaming together the sugar, margarine and yogurt in a small bowl until smooth. Once lump free, add the vanilla, soymilk and egg substitute. Mix well and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the sugar mixture to the large bowl and stir until evenly moistened. If it's too dry, add another tsp. or two of soymilk. Lastly, stir in the chopped pecans.

Roll the cookie dough into tablespoon sized balls, which should yield about 24 cookies give or take, and set them on a cookie sheet. You have a few options for decorating. Pictured above are sandies with a pecan pushed onto its top. Or, you can make a thumbprint:

For this, literally make a deep print with your thumb in the middle of the cookie, then fill with a drop of your favorite jam (raspberry pictured). Or, try flax:

To make these, just press the top into a dish of flax seeds.

Bake for 10-12 minutes and enjoy with a glass of cold soymilk!

Monday, August 4, 2008

No Egg Salad Sandwich and Grilled Cheese

Last night, when I saw Tofu Mom's post and recipe for her egg-less tofu salad, I knew I wanted to make it within the next couple of days. Well, I made it today, and I highly recommend it. I didn't have celery or pickle or relish, and next time (oh, there will be many next times) I will try it with. But it had so much flavor even without! Perfect cool lunch. I ate it with kale chips and an orange for lunch, and I threw some on some romaine with julienned carrots and Moroccan olives to take with me to work for dinner.

Yesterday for lunch I tried the recipe for Grilled Cheese from Vegan Vittles. The "cheese" is a "melty American cheese", but honestly, it's better than any American cheese I ever had in my pregan days. It uses oat flour, tahini and lemon juice and is delicious. There was some left over so I had cheese toast for breakfast, too. Phil doesn't like most real cheese or fake cheese, so more for me!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Undercover in the morning!

Around 7 this morning, I woke up sort of startled because Phil wasn't next to me (he stayed out late last night with friends). So I got out of bed, walked to the stairs and saw a light on downstairs. I peered down the stairs, and there he was fast asleep on the couch with an empty container of hummus in front of him on the coffee table. I woke him up and got him to bed, the got myself back to bed for a few more hours (I meant to wake up at 8, but it became 9:30).

When I woke up, I saw that there was a half-eaten piece of bread, still bearing hummus, lying on the floor by the couch. I suddenly had an image of an intoxicated Phil struggling to eat before passing out, and the passing-out winning. Well, the bread was covered by ants, which I threw away, but the carpet was still all hummus-y and the ants were having a ball. I followed them across our couch (on the ground, of course), then all the way across the living room to the... front door? No, they weren't going under the door. They ducked beneath our bookcase next to the door and dissapeared.

I pondered this, while taking pictures because I'm weird:

That's fake leather, if you were curious.

Anyways, I lost interest and went out to water the plants, but some movement by the door caught my eye. I found their entrance! They were crawling through a crack in our stoop, which must somehow lead to a place nehind the bookcase? I don't know, weird.

The moral of the story is: ants are good at cleaning up. Once I was done being a camera creep they and the spilled hummus were gone (I was GOING to clean it up, but I wanted to give them some time to scram. I felt bad vacuuming those unsuspecting suckers up!)

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Lunch, breakfast, yogurt, mock tuna and a complaint.

This is just a catch-up post, I guess, nothing too interesting. Just some pictures. My lunch today, which was kale, boca burger, mushrooms and onions over noodles. It was meh.

A quick soy-yogurt review: I love yogurt. It's my favorite snack. I thought I'd try a new brand today,a nd I was very much not impressed. It was too thick and a little grainy, and the flavor wasn't as good as my favorite, WholeSoy & Co. I will continue to eat it, however, because I have a whole container, so I'll let you know if I change my mind.

I thought it was funny that this is our grater right now. But more importantly, I was grating carrots to make Isa's mock tuna, from Vegan With A Vengeance. SO GOOD! It uses mashed chickpeas and seaweed. Who cares if it tastes like tuna, it tastes damn good. I didn't get a picture because th camera batteries died after this one, and all the chickpea mash was eaten. :( But it's good.

Tofu scramble. I've been having fun with them lately, and I discovered that cabbage is an awesome, inexpensive way to 'beef' them up a bit. I use turmeric for color and because I love the smell of warmed turmeric (it reminds me of my aunts house for some reason), and usually thyme and basil. Hot sauce always helps, but I'm out.

And lastly, my complaint.

Ediets is so sneaky! NO WHERE on my account page does it say how long my membership will last, and since they charge me for a month, I assumed a month. Well, it turns out that the only place they do tell you is in the fine print in their contract that you "sign" by clicking a button, ad I'm stuck on it for 3 months.

Assholes. Sneaky assholes. I accept that I should have actually read the terms and conditions, but I do think they were a little shady about the whole thing. Oh well, lesson learned. Because I can really afford to pay for 2 months when I can't even afford my student loan repayments. Whoo-hoo.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Salad all the time!

I love a good salad on a hot day.

This salad is: tender, delicious romaine, diced mushrooms, julienned carrots, tofu marinated and sauteed in teriyaki sauce, corn and sliced almonds.

I toss with a little olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. You can't go wrong! From now on, I'm only making a dressing for special dinners. A little light mix of oil and vinegar is perfect for a hot summer day.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

E-diets Review

Alright, well, since I've been feeling pretty uninspired in the kitchen and don't have any food or recipes to post, I thought I'm sum up my E-diets experience.

For those of you that don't know, I signed up for E-diets to lose a few pounds because although I didn't feel like I was "fat", I was watching the numbers on the scale steadily increase and I wanted that to stop before I did become overweight. Living and eating with a man who moves furniture for a living means that "having seconds" is more commonplace in our household than it should be to me. Last night Phil remarked to me that he thinks he's been eating too much-- and I was eating what he was eating!

Anyways, I signed up for a month of E-diets on the vegan plan. I had pretty low expectations in regards to their food options, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised! There were a lot of choices, and I cooked everything (no frozen meals for me!). In the three weeks that I followed the meal plan, I only repeated a recipe once or twice.

I also didn't stick to it too strictly. I snacked a little more than I should have and I went to the bar a few times. For the most part, though, I felt really good and I think that if I had stuck to it completely, I wouldn't have had enough calories. They had me at 1300 calories and I wanted to be running, as well.

The main thing that E-diets helped me with, though, is portion control. I know when to cut myself off now, and I haven't been snacking after work (big problem in the past, getting home at almost 11pm). I've also increased my fruit intake. I always viewed fruit as a "luxury" buy, when in fact I buy items that are way more of a splurge than fruit. I'm silly sometimes.

SO, all in all, in the first two weeks I lost 4.5 lbs. In the third week I didn't exercise and I overate, and I ended up losing about .5 lb. For the fourth week I stopped following the meal plan and I stepped up my exercise routine and I ended up losing another lb.

That brings me to 6 lbs! My goal was initially 7 lbs, but I'm fine with my weight right now. I'm just going to keep running and eating healthy things when I'm hungry, and maybe I'll lose that last lb, maybe not.

E-diets get my approval, but beware-- this should be an aid to changing your eating habits, not a quick fix. I'm not expecting to go back to over-snacking and eating over-sized portions. I (hope) have learned a thing or two about the way I used to eat and the way I want to be eating.

P.S. To see what I was eating, click on the "diet" label.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Almond Jewels

That picture is so morbid and doesn't illustrate the chocolate-y goodness of these cookies at all. I'm sorry. Also, the record is the new Beck album, Modern Guilt, which is really quite good.

Anyways, Phil basically forbade me from cooking until it gets cooler because of how hot our no-AC apartment gets. But Phil wasn't home, and I wanted cookies.

I like calling small cookies 'jewels' because they feel more precious and you eat less (to savor them). This recipe was adapted from this recipe, using random things that I had as subs, so you can feel free to make changes if you want. But they are so nice and small and chocolate-y! Additonally, this is the first step in my quest to create the perfect vegan chocolate chewey, which is a simple cookie made with just egg whites, confectioners sugar, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and.. I think that's it. Water, maybe, too.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Almond Jewels
Makes 16 small cookies

  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • 1 tsp. earth balance margarine*
  • 1/4 cup and 2 tablespoons organic brown sugar
  • 1/4 c. silken tofu, blended
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons cocoa powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 c. sliced almonds
*You can probably omit the margarine if you want.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine the applesauce, margarine, sugar, tofu and vanilla and cream until even and smooth.

In a seperate bowl, sift together the dry ingredients except the chips and almonds until well combined.

Add the dry to the wet, stirring until smooth. Add the chips and almonds, mix well, then drop onto a greased baking sheet in the form of 16 little drops of batter. Bake for 10 - 15 minutes and do a fork test, because they never really look done until they're burned.

Enjoy! Almost guilt-free!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Cold meals and a new cookbook

Yesterday was disgustingly hot, so Phil and I refused to turn on any heated appliances for lunch. Instead, I made this chickpea and beet salad. I love bean salads because they can be eaten by themselves, over lettuce, or even in a wrap or pita. We had ours over lettuce accompanied by a sandwich made with Nature's Soy Tof-Deli Slices (their website is down, so I'm not linking to it).

Chickpea and Beet Salad
Serves 3-4


  • 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp. vegetable broth
  • 1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 15-oz. can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 2 green onions, minced
  • 1 small beet, peeled and diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Whisk dressing ingredients together in a bowl until well combined. Add salad ingredients, mix well, and serve cold.

Phil picked up a book called The Ethical Gourmet by Jay Weinstein a few days ago, so we decided to make one of the dishes from it. We settled on the Cumin Laced Root Vegetable Couscous With Apricots. Delicious! I wish I could share the recipe! The key to this was the cumin and cinnamon... mmm. Plus it made a huge amount. It also took me 2 hours to make in a 95 degree room, but no matter. It was worth it.

We served it with kale sauteed with garlic and pan fried tofu.